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Information Assymetry and Double Standard in the Doctor-Patient Relationship

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  • Martin Janíčko
  • Ivo Koubek
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    Abstract

    The aim of the article is to explore the doctor - patient relationship using the information asymmetry framework and principal-agent theory. From the perspective of economic exchange, this relationship is relatively specific, as an uneven rank and position of the agents involved play an important role here. It is argued that this unevenness arises from several different factors, such as education and qualification, work experience, path dependence, and the nature of goods and services provided. The relationship specificity is then discussed from a theoretical point of view while its most important elements are highlighted and put into a wider context. Further, market approach in healthcare system and healthcare services is partially debated and a simple model analyzing he "double-standard treatment is developed. Subsequently, this type of treatment is analyzed with the aid of vertical differentiation approach. Based on economic rationale, the authors claim that "medical knowledge/information obligation should play a crucial role in all healthcare services. This type of instrument is to be applicable for both parties in the doctor - patient relationship, as it may help overcome the inherently present information asymmetry by rendering the healthcare services provision more transparent.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Politická ekonomie.

    Volume (Year): 2012 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 362-379

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    Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpol:v:2012:y:2012:i:3:id:854:p:362-379

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    Related research

    Keywords: vertical differentiation; medical knowledge/information obligation; information asymmetry; industry entry; healthcare services; double standard;

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    References

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    1. Florence Naegelen & Michel Mougeot, 1998. "Asymétrie d'information et financement des hôpitaux. Une comparaison des modes d'organisation du système de santé," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 1323-1343.
    2. Deborah Haas-Wilson & Martin Gaynor, 1998. "Physician networks and their implications for competition in health care markets," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 179-182.
    3. Karel Janda, 2006. "Lender and Borrower as Principal and Agent," Working Papers IES 2006/24, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jul 2006.
    4. Karel Janda, 2007. "Instituce státní úvěrové podpory v České republice [available in Czech only]," Working Papers IES 2007/20, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2007.
    5. Longo, R & Miraldo, M & Street, A, 2009. "Price regulation of pluralistic markets subject to provider collusion," Working Papers 1454, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
    7. Karel Janda, 2001. "Signalling and underutilization of import quota," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 351-365.
    8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
    9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
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